French company optimistic, going ahead with India plans

French company optimistic, going ahead with India plans

New Delhi: Areva is optimistic about the outcome of the Indo- US civil nuclear cooperation deal and is going ahead with its plans to form joint ventures with Indian companies to indigenously manufacture some of the critical parts of nuclear power generation equipment.

“Today there is an uncertainty about when will the discussion (within India, regarding the Indo-US deal) will be over and when will there be a green light for our participation for such nuclear investments in India. In the meantime, we are getting ready and are having discussions and contacts with local players. When the time will come we will ready to localize a part of the content and the critical component," Philippe Guillemot, chief executive officer and chairman of Areva’s global T&D (transmission and distribution) division, said during a vist to Chennai in early November.

Guillemot declined to name the local partners due to the commercial considerations.

The deal is scheduled to be discussed by Parliament on Wednesday, and it faces significant political hurdles.

Guillemot, who was in Chennai to announce a new manufacturing facility of Areva T&D, said the company had been in the transmission and distribution businessin India for 50 years and that this had given it “a good understanding of this market and the power generation needs."

“We will use it as an opportunity to tap the nuclear power generation part of the business," he added.

Guillemot said he was disappointed with the slow progress of the deal. But, “we are a company with a long-term view and when we manage our business we do not think short term. We are used to these kind of delays and we know how to adapt to such new agenda, new time schedule," he added.

Areva is present in India through its wholly owned Indian subsidiary, Areva T&D India Ltd. Areva T&D’s manufacturing units in India have already become an attractive sourcing base for its global operations.

The company’s Indian arm currently exports 9% of its manufacturing capacity and plans to increase this proportion to 14% by 2010. It has eight manufacturing unitshere and hopes to nearly double its turnover to Rs3,000 crore by 2010.